* Google ups lobbying spending by 90 pct year/year
* Google spends $3.92 mln on lobbying in 2nd qtr
* Facebook boosts federal lobbying dollars by 200 pct
* Issues include online privacy, patent reform, immigration
By Alexei Oreskovic
SAN FRANCISCO, July 23 Google Inc and
Facebook Inc ramped up federal lobbying spending in the
second quarter, as the Internet companies chatted up government
officials about everything from online advertising and
immigration reform to self-driving cars.
Google, the world's No. 1 Web search engine, increased
federal lobbying spending by 90 percent year-on-year, spending
$3.92 million in the second quarter to lobby officials with the
U.S. Congress, the executive office of the president and various
Google's spending during the second quarter was
significantly higher than many other large-cap technology
companies such as Microsoft Corp, IBM Corp and
Oracle Corp. Apple Inc, the world's largest
technology company by market cap, spent $470,000 in the second
quarter, compared with $790,000 in the second quarter of 2011.
Halfway through 2012, Facebook had already surpassed the
$1.35 million that it spent in total on federal lobbying in
2011, filings released on Friday show.
Facebook and Google dominate the fast-growing Web market,
which is upending traditional industries as well as
long-accepted notions about privacy, freedom of expression and
intellectual property, among other issues.
Google, which is being investigated by antitrust regulators
in the United States and EU, lobbied officials at the Federal
Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and the
Department of Commerce. Among the topics listed were "openness
and competition in online services," "mobile location privacy
issues," and "broadband adoption and deployment."
Google's second-quarter lobbying expenses put it in the same
league as telecommunications companies such as Verizon
Communications Inc, which spent $3.94 million in federal
Facebook boosted the dollars it dedicates to federal
lobbying by 200 percent in the second quarter, spending $960,000
on issues including online privacy, patent reform and
The world's largest online social nework with 900 million
users, Facebook indicated that it lobbied both chambers of
Congress about "market structure and IPO issues" during the
In May, Facebook became the first U.S. company to go public
with a market valuation above $100 billion. But the offering was
marred by technological glitches on the Nasdaq exchange and
criticism that the IPO was priced too high.
Shares of Facebook, which reports second-quarter financial
results on Thursday, remain well below their offering price of
Facebook said in a statement that its "presence and growth
in Washington reflect our commitment to explaining how our
service works, the actions we take to protect the more than 900
million people who use our service, the importance of preserving
an open Internet, and the value of innovation to our economy."
Google was not immediately available for comment.
Google, which is developing self-driving cars that it hopes
will someday be available on public roads, cited the Department
of Transportation in a section on lobbying that included
"autonomous vehicle technology."